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Welcome to Neuroscience Pearls: A publication from the UW Medicine Neurosciences Institute. Our goal is to provide useful information pertinent to your practice. Here we bring you key points related to Primary Brain Tumors.

Richard G. Ellenbogen, MD, Professor and Chairman, Department of Neurological Surgery, Director, UW Neurosciences Institute
Bruce R. Ransom, MD, PhD, Professor and Chair, Department of Neurology, Co-Director, UW Neurosciences Institute, Adjunct Professor, Department of Physiology and Biophysics
Contributing Authors:
Manuel Ferreira, Jr., MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery, Chief of Neurosurgery, University of Washington Medical Center
Jason K. Rockhill, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Radiation Oncology, University of Washington Medical Center, Clincial Director, Alvord Brain Tumor Center

The newly opened Alvord Brain Tumor Center (ABTC) at UW Medicine provides comprehensive care for all patients with brain and spinal cord tumors. A key concept of the clinic is a multi-disciplinary evaluation with input from Neurological Surgery, Radiation Oncology, Neuro-Oncology, as well as other specialties when needed. This offers access to cutting edge neurosurgical techniques, access to the most complete set of radiation modalities in the country and adjuvant chemotherapy allowing for the safest and most effective treatment. The ABTC facilitates coordination of care across these platforms to be able to provide patients with the best treatment options utilizing all the resources available through UW Medicine.

Primary brain tumors arise from cells within the cranium. Metastatic brain tumors, on the other hand, come from tumors elsewhere in the body and travel to the brain via the blood stream. Microscopic analysis of a sample of the tumor, including evaluation with special stains and flourescent antibodies, helps predict such important characteristics as responsiveness to different treatments and long-term patient survival. The most common primary brain tumors are gliomas (e.g. astrocytomas and glioblastomas) and meningiomas as shown in Figure 1.

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April 2016 | Volume 4: Issue 1